Woodbury boys lacrosse: Royals beat Edina, reach section semifinalsFor the first time in school history, the Woodbury boys lacrosse team has advanced to the Section 5 playoff semifinals with wins over Roseville, 6-5, and Edina 8-6.
By: Dan Mullen, Woodbury Bulletin
For the first time in school history, the Woodbury boys lacrosse team has advanced to the Section 5 playoff semifinals with wins over Roseville, 6-5, and Edina 8-6.
In the first round of the playoffs, the Royals took on SEC rival Roseville (4-7; 2-4 SEC) on Wednesday, May 25. The Royals had previously beat Roseville 11-7 in the first game of the season on April 20.
Woodbury was a bit sluggish early, missing a few opportunities leading to a 1-0 deficit after the first quarter. Roseville then got called for an illegal stick penalty, resulting in a three-minute inadmissible penalty – meaning the penalized player cannot leave the bench for three minutes, whether or not Woodbury scores, leaving Roseville a man down for three straight minutes.
Woodbury head coach Rich Limpert said the penalty helped the Royals take control of the game.
“That man-up really inflates the score on the front end because they had three minutes where they were a man down,” said Limpert.” So we had a tight game early, got the man-up, and that gave us a push.”
During the penalty, Woodbury scored four goals (Alberts had two, James Rudesill scored one and Evan Erickson had one goal), then added another by senior Matthew Wardell to make the score 5-1 at halftime.
Entering the fourth quarter, Woodbury led 6-2, but Roseville scored three unanswered goals, resulting in a 6-5 Woodbury lead with 3:08 left in the game.
Limpert said he was not surprised Roseville made a comeback.
“In the second half, Roseville stepped it up; they are a good team,” said Limpert. “They have some good players that really give it all they got and we always have tight games.”
Limpert also said his team strayed from its game plan.
“We got away from possessing the ball and when it got tighter we started to force,” said Limpert. “That is when you start hitting posts and turning the ball over a little bit more than you should.”
Senior Ben Alberts, who had two goals and an assist for the Royals and was recently named one of seven finalists for Mr. Lacrosse Minnesota, said the defense helped the Royals come through with the victory.
“We started to lose it a bit towards the end,” said Alberts. “But our defense came through in the end and we came away with a win and in the playoffs that is all that matters.”
Coach Limpert said he was proud Alberts was named as a finalist for Mr. Lacrosse Minnesota.
“Ben has been playing here since eighth grade and his family is super involved in the program,” said Limpert. “It has been fun to see Ben grow from a little guy that was around when his brother Matt was playing to the player he is now. He is the kind of kid that constantly works on his game and makes the players around him better. He is a great kid and teammate and I am excited for him.”
Woodbury earns revenge, beats Hornets 8-6
Following its defeat of Roseville, Woodbury defeated Edina 8-6 on Friday, May 27, at Edina Community Center to advance to the section 5 semi-finals.
Before the game, coach Limpert said Edina would be tough to beat, evidenced by Edina’s 12-11 victory over the Royals on May 17.
“Edina is a tough crew,” said Limpert. “We had a good bout with them here on our turf and lost but Edina will come out hard. I am excited for our guys.”
The Royals came out with great energy, leading 2-1 after the first quarter following goals from seniors Christian Turner and Wardell. Edina then made a comeback of its own, seizing the halftime time lead 4-3.
Third quarter goals from seniors Blake Bergherr, Thomas Gand, and Alberts led to a 6-6 stalemate after three quarters. Rudesill, a senior, scored to make the score 7-6 early in the fourth quarter and Turner added his second goal of the game with 3:25 left in the game to make the score 8-6.
Turner said the team is coming together at the right time.
“Our team came out today and played four quarters,” said Turner. “I think we are feeling better than we have all year for sure. We just have a bunch of leaders in the locker room who are stepping up and leading us to victories.”
Limpert said his team has been working up to this point all season and the results are starting to show.
“We have been working for this time since the beginning of the season and when the team gels, and that has happened over the past couple of games, we really started to come together as a team and not worry so much about the mistakes but celebrating the successes we have.”
The Royals played Tuesday, May 31, after the Bulletin went to press, against second-seeded Blake in the section semis. The winner of that game will play the winner of Holy Angels and Benilde St. Margaret’s on Thursday, June 2, in the Section 5 championship.